ESOMAR Online Research & WM3 2010

Jenny Raff Name: Jenny Raff
Nationality: German
University: University of Applied Sciences Pforzheim, Pforzheim, Germany
Title of course/programme: Market and Communication Research

How do you see the market research industry evolving and how can you contribute to it?

From my point of view, there are three different trends taking place in the market research industry:

The first affects the self-image of market researchers around the globe. During the last decades the researcher has emerged from pure data suppliers, towards business consultants, with the fond methodological skills and experiences. Most of the market research consultancies are building an ongoing and lasting relationship with their customers, not only provide the insights, but also consult the implementation of the results in their customer companies’ structure and strategy.

Secondly, the web and the related advancing capability of communication, create new opportunities but also new challenges for the market research industry. Hence, online research broadened the methodological portfolio in a way that it enables the researchers to conduct surveys at a faster pace and simplifies international studies. Further, the web with its user generated content through social media websites, blogs and forums also offer a huge source of information regarding people’s perception and behavior. Analyzing this type of data is a new challenge that the market research institutes are currently facing.

The third trend refers to the latest buzz-words “Crowd Sourcing”, “Open Innovation” and “Co-Creation”. Market researchers allot the role of a moderator between the consumers and the manufacturer who built a profitable and result-oriented partnership between the two parties.

Studying business with a major in market research at Pforzheim University of Applied Science, I received an excellent education that included methodological, analytical and communicative contents. Additionally, I gained a good understanding of business procedures. I am curious, active and possess the necessary solution-oriented skills to add value, by understanding companies’ objectives and supplying crucial insights in order to accomplish those objectives.

What are, in your opinion, the necessary skills for market researchers in the present environment?

Traditionally, the crucial skills of market researchers have been the command of statistical methods, techniques from social science and a distinct ability to think analytically. Obviously researchers must be curious and interested in understanding peoples decision making processes, perceptions and preferences.

The current industry dynamic hasn’t changed those essential requirements, but rather, added the need for strong communication skills and proactive, service-oriented operating principles. I also consider it to be essential for market researchers to be innovative and open-minded to improving research methods and the willingness of staying up-to-date with the latest technical and social developments.

How do you see your career unfolding and what are your aspirations?

I am nearing the completion of my BBA Diploma with a major in Market Research from the Pforzheim University of Applied Science, graduating at the end of this year. I am writing my thesis exploring Church-Marketing, which developed my affinity for solution-oriented market research services and marketing not only for companies, but also social and nonprofit-organizations. During my studies I gained practical experience, both in direct market research consultancies (e.g. TNS Infratest) and in-house research department (L’Oréal Germany) and conducted several studies for local SME within a student market research initiative. Hence I would like to pursue a career in an innovative, international market research company or business consultancy, where I can apply my skills, learn more about consumer and market insight and contribute to brands or an organizations further success.

Through to my studies abroad attending Hong Kong University, I developed a great fascination for the Asian markets and lifestyle. Therefore, I would like to pursue an international career, preferably in the Asian markets.

My long-term aspiration is building my own business.


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